A long long time ago, I stumbled into a guest suite at some upscale hotel in Washington DC. I’m still not sure if I was supposed to be there or not, but inside I found a huge spread of fancy appetizers. One plate in particular that struck me was filled with these strange balls covered in nuts. I was expecting a dessert, but when I took a bite I was thrown off by the fact that it was actually a grape, wrapped in goat cheese, rolled in nuts.
As strange as these cheese truffles seemed, they were equally addicting, and I never forgot that flavor or texture combination.
I wanted to make a vegan version of this dish, so I set out to make the perfect vegan goat cheese substitute. Although slightly less funky than the originals, these truffles certainly do their job. These are perfect for any party or gathering, or for snacking on in front of the TV. Indulge!
One of my favorite appetizers is now vegan. This recipe have a few simple ingredients, but it really packs a punch at any vegan gathering.
- 1 batch of cultured cashew cream cheese (recipe below)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 bunch seedless grapes
- 1 cup roasted and salted pistachios, finely chopped in a food processor
Rinse and dry your grapes. Combine the cashew cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Pour the chopped pistachios onto a plate.
Using about a tablespoon of the cashew cream cheese mixture , coat each grape, rolling each one with your hands to make them spherical. Place the covered grapes into the pistachios and roll around to cover. Continue until you run out of grapes, cashew cream cheese, or patience. For best texture, serve slightly chilled.
Make sure your cashew cream cheese is chilled when you do this. It make it a lot easier to work with.
This is a super simple cashew cream cheese recipe that can be the base of so many amazing vegan dishes.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 vegan probiotic capsules
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- About ¼ cup of water or as needed
Soak the cashews for about 12 hours in filtered water. Or, add the cashews to a pot with about 3 cups of filtered water, and bring to a boil. Turn off the burner, and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes.
Rinse the cashews in cold water and then add to a food processor with the salt and nutritional yeast. Blend until the cashews are a creamy consistency, adding water as needed, but not too much. You are looking for a cream cheese texture. Open the probiotic capsules and add them to the processor, making sure the cashew mixture isn’t too warm from processing. Blend until evenly distributed.
Pour the cashew mixture into a glass bowl, and cover with cheese cloth or a thin cloth. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours.